Monday, April 18, 2016

Yes, Forever by Bailey Bradford

John’s said no in the past, but now he has a chance at forever—if he can move past his doubts and say yes.

John Weston’s misspent youth has left him a more cautious man, one who doesn’t dare take a risk. He works, comes home, and every day seems like the one before. It’s what he deserves—it’s all he deserves. That’s what he’s convinced himself.

Added to his past mistakes, John has struggled with depression off and on for years. He keeps to himself, but he might come to realize that his reasons for doing so aren’t what he believed them to be.

One man appears, and John’s going to have to figure out why he prefers to hide from life, and if he’s ready to reach for something more.

Benji Marks, with his beautiful eyes and bright smile, makes John want things he never thought he could have.

Nothing comes easy, and heartbreak is a risk that John must weigh as he tries to sort out who he is and why he’s made the choices he’s made in the past.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a story which takes a bit of getting into – as there is a lot of inner monologue from John. I think it served its purpose, in that it gave an insight into the effects of depression, the effects of the medication – and how easily everything can seem to matter so much, and equally so little. I didn't however, really get a sense of him as a person – even though we had lots of family times. As things developed with Benji, there was some indication of how he had behaved as he grew up, but not much depth. The matching-making moves from Benji's grandfather and lady friend were amusing. Ms. Bradford certainly knows how to write hot and steamy scenes, and we have a ringside seat to the pleasure these guys can give each other.

Overall, I am glad that I read this story. Do give it a go.

I have read quite a few books recently in which one of the main characters suffers from depression. It is a topic that affects me personally because more than one member of my immediate family has been diagnosed with clinical depression, I have endured bouts of grief-related depression over the past few years, and I have worked with clients that show signs of it as well. But rather than it being a trigger for me as a reader, I actually find it fascinating to discover how different authors craft stories in which one of their characters is dealing with depression. Just like in real life, I have found a wide-range of characters whose symptoms and responses to the world around them vary widely. So while Yes, Forever is one more on an ever increasing list of depression-themed books I’ve read and enjoyed, it was another unique tale as John and Benji embark upon a life together.

I pretty much loved John from the beginning. Bradford does not delay in giving the reader a front row seat to John’s depression as he ponders his life and the choices he’s made, all while he is driving home. His interaction with Mrs. Royal left no doubt in my mind that John was going to be a delight to read. Unfortunately, Benji did not give me that impression upon meeting him. Just like John, I found his attitude, blunt questions, and judgments about John to be quite off-putting. It was only because of John’s feelings for Benji and me finally coming to understand him as John did that warmed me up to Benji, but it took a really, really long time because I didn’t like the way he treated John. I did appreciate Benji’s honesty about the type of relationship he was looking for with John, but I hated that John lied to himself, believing that he could accept a friends with benefits arrangement. But these were the things that made Yes, Forever believable for me, because people often lie to themselves about what they do and do not want or will and will not accept from a potential partner. And Bradford does a great job of showing how John’s choices impact his depression – both good and bad.

Yes, Forever is not the grittiest book regarding depression I’ve read recently, but this is not a bad thing because it still gives readers a realistic view of what it’s like for someone living with depression. John is fortunate that he has a pretty good support system, including a boss who understands his depression but doesn’t let him use it as an excuse. The supporting cast are a treat and I’m not sure which I found more amusing – the dating advice for the elderly characters or their attempts at matchmaking for the guys. Yes, Forever offered a realistic look at depression and how romantic relationships can be both positive and negative in how they impact the persons overall well-being. I really enjoyed this book and, as always, look forward to Bradford’s next release.

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn't happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey's brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey's office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey's presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Yes, Forever by Bailey Bradford to read and review.

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